May 2020

President's Message

Cancel ALLMED hotel reservation: CHECK
Return TMA Foundation Gala dress: CHECK
Reschedule ALLMED programming: CHECK
Change format of Annual Business Meeting: CHECK
Learn how to run a Zoom webinar: CHECK

Action. Nearly 70 Alliance members from across our huge state met virtually on May 1 to conduct the business of the TMA Alliance. It was the very first time the alliance held its Annual Business Meeting in a virtual format.

For many of us, it was a new experience. We overcame our inherent fear of unfamiliar technology and “dug in” to learn the ins and outs of managing a Zoom webinar. Thanks to our dedicated and capable staff, as well as hours the leadership team spent planning and rehearsing our parts, we completed a successful year-end meeting.

Accomplishment. The TMAA bylaws were updated, our deceased members were honored, four members and four alternates were elected to serve on the 2020-21 Nominating Committee, and our new Board of Directors was installed.

Congratulations to Martha Vijjeswarapu, our 2020-21 president, and to our incoming Board of Directors! I look forward to seeing their ideas turn into action over the coming year.

It was truly an honor for me to serve as your president - and what a year it was! We saw a new alliance chapter launch, established chapters reenergize, and struggling ones make BIG new plans. My personal highlight was the regional road trips and listening sessions we held with county leadership that allowed us to create personalized growth plans. I loved meeting you in your home towns and experiencing what makes each community and alliance chapter truly unique.

In addition to spending time with our counties, TMAA made the strategic decision to invest thousands of membership dollars into membership retention and recruitment efforts at the local level. I am proud to say the incentive program has been so successful that TMAA will continue to award membership incentive grants to county chapters throughout the 2020-21 year.

I also spent a lot of time in downtown Houston this year, building a network of Alliance Physicians in Training (APT). WOW, their energy is contagious! We had 22 students attend our advocacy training session in preparation for First Tuesdays in Districts meetings with legislators, and they are fired up to attend their First Tuesdays at the Capitol in 2021.

It was a full year of meeting new friends, working with old friends, adapting, striving, thriving, and … results.

Yours in the Family of Medicine,

Lisa Queralt, RN, MSN
TMA Alliance Past President

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Annual Business Meeting Recap

Although the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the TMA Alliance from meeting in Fort Worth April 29-May 1, it didn’t stop us from handling business virtually. We were able to hold all three TMAA business meetings  Council on Fiscal Affairs, Joint Board of Directors, and Annual Business Meeting - with whopping attendance. Big thanks to everyone for participating in the Zoom meetings and webinar.

Congratulations to our 2020-21 Nominating Committee, elected by attendees of the Annual Business Meeting on May 1:

  • Sandra Dickerson, MD, Lubbock
  • Danielle Henkes, San Antonio
  • Marisa Mercer, Fort Worth
  • Lori Routh, Dallas
  • Liz Farek, Corpus Christi
  • Linda Kennedy, Fort Worth
  • Sharon Robinson, Lubbock
  • Nancy Wrenn, Tyler

Meet the 2020-21 Board of Directors

Martha Vijjeswarapu, President

Jennifer Lewis, President-Elect
President: Martha Vijjeswarapu, San Antonio
President-Elect: Jennifer Lewis, San Antonio
President’s Special Advisor: Patty Loose, Austin
Immediate Past President: Lisa Queralt, Fort Worth
VP of Membership: Chris McGilvery, Temple
VP-Elect of Membership: Lori Routh, Dallas
VP of Community Health: Debbie Massingill, Fort Worth
VP of Communication: Lisa Drever, Longview
VP of Legislation: Jenny Shepherd, San Antonio
VP of Future Planning: Sue Schackmuth, Abilene
VP of Fiscal Affairs (Treasurer): Martha Howell, Temple
Recording Secretary: Kelly Michaels, Tyler
Parliamentarian: Angie Donahue, Fort Worth
APT Representative: Mark Baerd, Houston
Revisions & Guidelines: Elizabeth Vanexan, Corpus Christi

Advisory Committee
Lisa Queralt, immediate past president, Fort Worth
Sunshine Moore, 2018-19 president, Corpus Christi
Karen Lairmore, 2017-18 president, Belton

Resource Liaisons
Lori Boies, San Antonio
Liz Farek, Corpus Christi
Shira Lonsford, Houston
Joi Smith, Tyler
Libby White, Lubbock

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TMAA Bylaws Updated

Unable to attend the Annual Business Meeting? Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered! Here is a quick recap of the major changes made to the TMAA Bylaws and Standing Rules:

    1. New membership category for retired spouses and physicians
    If you or your spouse is a retired physician, your TMAA dues will now be at the special rate of $25. This change puts us in line with TMA, which offers a separate membership category for retired members, as well as allows us to honor long-standing members for their dedication to the alliance. The new membership category will go into effect Sept. 1, 2020, when we begin billing for 2021 membership.
    2. Membership renewal drive wraps on March 31.
    You still have until May 31 to renew your 2020 TMA Alliance membership. However, beginning in 2021, you will need to pay dues by March 31 to prevent your membership from lapsing. The 2021 Membership Renewal Campaign will run from Sept. 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021.
    3. Free membership for medical students
    The TMA Alliance wants to encourage medical student participation and volunteer support in their local alliance chapters.


View the full, updated TMAA Bylaws and Standing Rules online.

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COVID-19 Resources

TMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center has ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, including guides on personal protective equipment distribution, resources on practice viability, and much more. Be sure to bookmark the page and check it frequently to stay up to date on COVID-19 in Texas.

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Renew Your Membership By May 31

Last chance to renew your membership for 2020. Don’t miss out on the fun, support, and leadership development the TMA Alliance offers. Renew your dues today.
You have three ways to pay your dues:

    1. Online: Go to (look for blue button in the upper-right corner of website; click on “Renew” if you’re a current member and want to renew your membership)
    2. Call: TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955 with credit card information
    3. Mail: Application form or mailed statement along with a check to TMA Alliance, 401 W. 15th St., Austin, TX 78701
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Around the State

Alliance chapters throughout the state continue to organize personal protective equipment (PPE) drives in partnership with local county medical societies. In April, drives were set up in Concho, Potter-Randall, and Grayson counties. Learn more about organizing your own PPE drive.

In addition to running local PPE drives, alliance chapters have stepped up to care for their communities in a number of creative ways. The Smith County Medical Society Alliance partnered with East Texas Communities Foundation and East Texas Restaurant Association to provide meals for health care workers in Tyler. Donate to the effort here.

Meanwhile, Bell County Medical Alliance member Susan Higgins worked hard sewing masks for Bell County medical personnel, and the Dallas County Medical Society Alliance sponsored food drop-offs to medical workers. We love seeing the different ways our county alliance chapters are helping their communities!

Even as we work hard to support workers on the front line and maintain social distancing, our members continue to provide support and fellowship to one another through this stressful time. The Bexar County Medical Society Alliance flexed creative muscles and held a Cinco de Mayo bingo night via Zoom. How is your county keeping in touch? Let us know!

Upcoming Events

In addition to the events below, please be sure to check out our new calendar, where you can sort events by county. If your chapter has an upcoming event you would like featured, email details (date, time, location, ticket prices, description) to Sasha.

June 6
AMAA Virtual Meeting - Register here

Sept. 10-12
Fall Conference
Bastrop, TX

Oct. 2
TMAA Regional Conference
Abilene, TX